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Ridiculously Easy Polenta Recipe

Gluten Free, Vegan Polenta or Corn Pudding Recipe

Corn Pudding or Polenta

Easy Polenta Recipe: Sample recipe from What, No Meat? Traditional Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Roberta Roberti. Quick, easy, and satisfying, corn pudding or polenta has been a dietary staple for 10,000 years.

Polenta is delicious with Italian foods such as White Bean Italian Style Soup, or Carribean foods like Jamaican Red Bean Stew. We like polenta with an okra black bean tomato sauce.

Total prep & cook time: 1 Hr 30 min

16 Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving: 55 Calories, 12 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g protein, .5 g fat, 1 g fiber, 218 mg sodium (10% DV), glycemic load 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole grain yellow cornmeal
  • 1 qt water

Directions:

  • In a medium copper or heavy-bottomed pan, combine the salt with 1 qt water and bring it to a boil.
  • Measure out the corn meal into a measuring cup
  • Gradually and slowly add the cornmeal, stirring constantly with a whisk
  • Reduce heat to low and continue stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir the polenta frequently until it becomes thick and a crust forms on the bottom and sides of the pot, about 10 - 15 minutes.
  • If you like it soft, cook the polenta no longer than 10 minutes
  • Transfer the polenta to a wide shallow platter or baking dish. Smooth it out and let it cool until firm, about 1 hour
  • Or form the polenta into a 2 inch thick roll - just like you see wrapped in plastic in stores (only yours is cheaper and fresher)
  • Cut polenta into slices and serve. Keep leftovers tightly wrapped in the fridge for 2 - 4 days
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Serving Suggestions:

  1. Sprinkle the top of the polenta with your favorite dairy or non-dairy cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes, or broil for a few minutes.
  2. Spread a generous amount of your favorite sauce (tomato, becamel, etc) over the polenta. Sprinkle greated parmigiano (or nutritional yeast) across the top and bake at 350 degrees until bubbling hot, 8 - 10 min.
  3. Cut your polenta roll into 2 inch rounds. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a pan. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and sauté until they are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the polenta rounds, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 3 - 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the onions on top of the polenta rounds.
  4. When cooking the polenta, add your favorite vegetable, such as fresh corn or chopped red pepper, or jalapeno pepper or herbs or roasted garlic....
  5. Make polenta fun for kids by using cookie cutters or a sharp knife to cut it into shapes, such as stars, hearts, and triangles
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Recipe Tips:

Polenta or corn pudding is ridiculously easy to make, but it's a meditative activity, accompanied by vigorous stirring. So clear your mind and roll up your sleeves. Continuous stirring is vital to prevent lumps.

Polenta is also delicious spread or dipped with simple foods like hummus, guacamole or salsa.

Some like to add cheese when they're making corn pudding, but polenta without parmesan cheese is just as satisfying - and nobody can tell the difference. So, feel free to ditch the saturated fat! Add some nutritional yeast if you'd like a cheesy taste.

Corn pudding or polenta can be made soft, to eat like grits, with maple syrup for breakfast, or firm to cut in pieces and fry or bake with tomato sauce, veggies, cheese etc. Or make sandwiches with polenta slices instead of bread. You can even make a gluten free pizza just by substituting the polenta for pizza dough!

To make polenta, you'll need a large heavy bottomed or copper pot, a whisk and a wooden spoon. Store left over polenta tightly wrapped in the fridge.

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